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Global warming: Australia could fulfill Paris climate goals earlier

With its deserts, coasts and more than seven million square kilometers of land owns Australia the perfect basis to expand renewable energy sources such as solar panels or wind power plants. A study by the Australian National University (ANU) is intended to clarify this potential. According to the authors, the country could achieve the goals set by the 2025 Paris Climate Change Agreement. (ANU: Blakers et al., 2019)

According to this, Australia is ahead of other countries such as China or the USA when it comes to expanding renewable energies in a per capita comparison. The local wind power plants and solar plants produce around 250 watts per year per person. In the US, it is under 50.

According to the study, by 2024, Australia will be able to source about 50 percent of its electricity from renewable energy sources. In 2032, the authors even assume 100 percent.

In the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, the world community decided in 2016 to limit global warming to below two degrees Celsius, if possible even to 1.5 degrees Celsius – compared to the pre-industrial period of 1850. Each country should make its contribution to the global CO2 limitation.

However, Australia is currently heavily dependent on coal. There are about ten percent of all coal reserves in the world. Currently, 63 percent of the country's electricity needs are covered by fuel. Accordingly high is the emission rate of the country. In 2016, 16 tonnes of CO2 were produced there per capita. For comparison, in Germany, there are 8.8 tonnes per inhabitant.

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